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Hey guys!

Could anyone please help me discuss the following topics?

1) Properties of movements explained by Binding Theory (principles A and C)
2) Properties of reflexives explained by the principle A of the Binding Theory.

Thank you
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Morphosyntax / Re: Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Daniel on June 07, 2019, 07:30:11 PM »
Yes, that sounds about right.

In (1) you're saying that you now know things, and in (2) you're saying that you learned them (probably yesterday). Same effect, different focus. Sort of like passive vs. active sentences, but even more subtle.

By the way, from your questions here, if you want to know more about verbs, I really would recommend reading about "lexical aspect" (or Aktionsart):
http://www.glottopedia.org/index.php/Aktionsart
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexical_aspect

There's a lot to read about that, but when dealing with issues of (grammatical) aspect in usage, especially interaction between two verbs, and it's a complex topic that a lot of people have written about, but it's also relatively easy to follow if you understand the basics, and there's just a lot of information about specific details.
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Morphosyntax / Re: Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Natalia on June 07, 2019, 05:10:54 PM »
That’s really useful infromation. From what you’ve written here, I guess I can say it all depends on what we want to express, whether for example a certain past action has some present relevance.
Jus to be sure – I created the following sentences and I’d be very grateful for your feedback, whether I chose the proper grammar forms.

1. I've watched one episode of the TV show you told me about yesterday and I found it really amusing. I've even picked up some really nice English expressions.

2. Yesterday I watched one episode of the TV show you had told me about and I found it really amusing. I even picked up some really nice English expressions. (= the time is implied - I learnt them yesterday)
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Morphosyntax / Re: Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Daniel on June 07, 2019, 12:42:18 PM »
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1. Can you give me an example of what you said here? I'm not sure if I understand.
Speakers are more likely to avoid saying something that has the same word repeated twice in a row. There's no rule here. It's just a tendency.

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2. Can you tell me what this minimal difference between "I've had" and "had to" is in this particular context I provided? I'll be more aware of which form to use in the future.
No, it really doesn't matter. But part of that is because of the particular verb you chose. It might matter a little more (and even then not very much) with another verb.
Roughly, I suppose you could say that the past tense describes the past, while the perfect expresses something about the results of the past. But that's basically the same thing. They're not really contrastive here. If you asked with sentences containing another verb, especially one that doesn't so easily permit a habitual reading, I might be able to say something else.

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3. So, I can introduce some new information in the present perfect (as in example 3), and then switch to the past tenses (e.g. simple or continuous), and it will be correct grammatically and semantically?
Oh, I think I forgot to reply about that sentence above. My numbers 1, 2, 3 were NOT referring to your sentences, just general comments (three of them, about your first two sentences).

Regarding your third sentence:
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Also, I'd like to make sure if it's correct to combine the present perfect and the past simple in one sentence, like:
3. I've watched the film you recommended, and I really liked it.
Yes, that is correct. It would be very strange sounding to say "I have really liked it". It's hard to explain why, but it has to do with the specific verb choice.

It's possible to say something like:
"I've enjoyed/liked going to movies, but now I don't like to do that anymore."
The emphasis here is on (1) how it is complete (perfective) with a change now; and (2) how it focuses on the resulting experience rather than the event itself (backgrounding).

But that kind of usage is very rare.

In short, perfect forms are often used to indicate something leading up to something else, and in that way they're often or usually mixed with simple tenses.
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Morphosyntax / Re: Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Natalia on June 07, 2019, 11:46:41 AM »
Thank your for your response. However, I have some questions.

1. Can you give me an example of what you said here? I'm not sure if I understand.
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1. Repetition of auxiliary and lexical 'have'. Because repetition is often avoided, "I've had to" might be less likely than, for example, "I've needed to".

2. Can you tell me what this minimal difference between "I've had" and "had to" is in this particular context I provided? I'll be more aware of which form to use in the future.

3. So, I can introduce some new information in the present perfect (as in example 3), and then switch to the past tenses (e.g. simple or continuous), and it will be correct grammatically and semantically?
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Morphosyntax / Re: Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Daniel on June 07, 2019, 03:48:20 AM »
Yes, it's generally fine to mix forms like that. Parallelism might be good sometimes, but native speakers aren't always consistent about that.

Some other complications here are:
1. Repetition of auxiliary and lexical 'have'. Because repetition is often avoided, "I've had to" might be less likely than, for example, "I've needed to".
2. Lexical aspect (Aktionsart). The perfective (and other aspects like progressive) are often more relevant for non-stative verbs. The difference between "I've had to" and "I had to" is minimal (and "*I was having to" is ungrammatical), but it's more different with lexical verbs like "eat", as in "I've eaten", "I ate", "I was eating".
3. There's also the issue of habituality: the simple past tends to (like the present) represent ongoing states or habits, rather than specific action events. The perfect is more likely with an action.

In the end, it's all flexible, and the differences are fairly small. But if you change the sentences or verbs you might find some of those differences become a little more important.
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Morphosyntax / Present Perfect and Past Simple
« Last post by Natalia on June 07, 2019, 10:32:54 AM »
Can you tell me if there's any significant difference between using the present perfect in the first example and the past simple in the second? Which form would be more commonly used in everyday situation?

1. I haven’t travelled much so far. The thing is, travelling has never been my priortiy - there’ve always been more important things I've had to spend my money on.
2. I haven’t travelled much so far. The thing is, travelling has never been my priortiy - there’ve always been more important things I had to spend my money on.

Also, I'd like to make sure if it's correct to combine the present perfect and the past simple in one sentence, like:
3. I've watched the film you recommended, and I really liked it.

In this particular example, I introduced the topic of conversation in the present perfect and then switched to the past simple, which is right I suppose.
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Morphosyntax / Re: I forgot I had...
« Last post by Natalia on June 02, 2019, 03:08:31 PM »
Oh yes, "I though you are..." does not make sense at all, as you rightly explained. Anyway, thank you very much for your explanation. It's all clear to me now.
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Morphosyntax / Re: I forgot I had...
« Last post by Daniel on June 02, 2019, 12:42:09 PM »
The details are extremely complicated, and I don't know that I can explain them all here (or honestly that I completely understand all of my intuitions about these forms to list out every contingency).

As I've said, sometimes these are essentially interchangeable, as in your first example: "I didn't you know you live(d) in a houseboat".

In the second case, it would actually not be acceptable to say "I thought you are still on Holiday", because that would be counter-factual. Literally I suppose you could say "I thought you are", but that seems really weird to me, because there is some implicit negation here indicating a previous false assumption, that has now been corrected. The discourse function of "I thought [false statement]" is to emphasize the correlated idea "Now I know that actually [true statement]".

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"I thought you work from home” (not "worked").
I'd prefer the past tense. But "work" (here) is better than "are still on holiday" (above) because it's not such a bad assumption: it's still possible that you usually work from home (sometimes, but not today), but it's not possible that you are currently on vacation while I am standing in front of you.

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Given that, is it actually common in everyday speech to use the present tense after "I didn’t know…" or "I thought…" constructions?
No, it's not common with "I thought" because that is correcting a false statement.

With "I didn't know", that's different, because it's stating a true fact now, so the present tense might work. The complexity is that "didn't know" is in the past, so it would need to be a long ongoing event for it to work with present, or especially a habitual usage, something like "I didn't know you like pizza!", or maybe "I didn't know you are still sick". That works. But I'd prefer the past tense for both of those. (To my ears, the present is OK with habitual usage like "like pizza", but awkward with a real present tense like "are still sick"-- you can't have known that earlier, because it might have changed in the time since you "knew". But people might say that, just awkward.)

--

For all practical purposes, this is essentially irrelevant. You'll be understood well. You might not understand some subtle nuances (like whether the speaker intends to express present-relevance), but that's rarely an important part of a conversation, and often redundant in context anyway.
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Morphosyntax / Re: I forgot I had...
« Last post by Natalia on June 02, 2019, 12:05:15 PM »
I’ve come across the following examples in one of my grammar books:

Tom (visiting Philip for the first time): I didn’t know you lived in a houseboat.
Philip: I’ve always lived in a houseboat. I was born in one.

John (meeting Peter in a supermarket): I thought you were still on holiday. When did you get back?
Peter: I came back last week.

As you can see, the verbs "lived" and "were" are kept in the past tense, and I’d also say it that way in this context. However, recently I was talking to my British language partner about my job, and he said: "I thought you work from home” (not "worked"). Given that, is it actually common in everyday speech to use the present tense after "I didn’t know…" or "I thought…" constructions? And again, how should I know which form to choose?
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